Department of Cultural Affairs, Government of Kerala


The staple food of Keralites is finely boiled rice from which water has been completely drained. This is consumed with dishes made of vegetables, spices, ground coconut etc. Such a dish is called a curry, koottan, or upadamsam.

According to Ayurveda, tastes are of six types, namely, sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, and astringent. Elements that produce these tastes are present in different proportions in most of the natural foodstuffs. The human body needs these elements in different amounts for proper growth and maintenance of health. Our ancestors designed our daily menu to incorporate all these nutrients in the right proportion. As such, these preparations are absolutely fault-free, even if you look at them from the point of view of modern science because they contain nutrients like carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, fats, minerals, and essential amino acids in the necessary quantities.

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